Summer Volunteering Opportunities in China

Volunteer in China without paying expensive fees with our range of programs in China

  • Learn about low-cost volunteer abroad programs that can be afforded by all.
  • Make a positive difference in the lives of marginalized groups of people without hurting your bank account.
  • Explore the options for volunteering programs in China with fully supported and life-changing opportunities.
  • Find tips to help you discover cheaper airfares and save money in various other ways, which demonstrate that volunteering is something anyone can do.
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Summer Volunteering Opportunities in China

Join a four- to eight-week China summer volunteer camp!
  • Spend the summer teaching English to eager Chinese students.
  • Improve your résumé' and polish your teaching skills.
  • Join a life-changing volunteer program.
  • Learn Chinese Mandarin language.

Are you interested in finding the best volunteer abroad program? Do the high costs of programs steer you away from pursuing your dream of volunteering abroad? IFRE VOLUNTEERS is here to make your dreams come true!

China is a wonderful place to volunteer, travel, and learn. Though it becomes more modern each day, China is still has a rich culture and traditions. When you work on a summer volunteer project in China, you’ll have the opportunity to see everything that the country has to offer: the old and new, rich and poor, and the modern and ancient. This is certainly a unique opportunity.

When you volunteer on this summer volunteer English program in China, you become a part of the change that you see in the lives of the students you teach, spend time with, and share your passions with. Join our summer teaching camp, share your love for working with children, and make your summer one for the books.

Summer Volunteer Program Itinerary (sample)

Day 1: Arrival for Summer Volunteering Program In Shanghai

When you arrive at Pu-dong International Airport in Shanghai, you will be met at the exit by an IFRE VOLUNTEERS staff member and taken to the hostel in Shanghai.

Day 2: Orientation & Training

The second day begins with a quick orientation on the summer camp’s goals, the local culture, the general dos and don’ts of China, a basic introduction to Mandarin, and anything else you need to know. Then you’re free to ask any questions you might have.

A brief training on teaching English to Chinese children between the ages of three and 10 will follow orientation. This will be an intensive English program. The camp mostly focuses on improving conversational English. You’ll find that Chinese students are very eager to learn and to practice their newfound knowledge of the English language. The training will focus on how to achieve the goals of the summer camp and teach English to these eager students.

Following the training, you will be assigned to a school where you will volunteer as part of the English summer camp in China.

Day 3-31: Teaching in Kindergartens in Shanghai and nearby Cities 

The core period of the summer volunteer program in China is spent teaching English to eager Chinese learners. You will get to choose between a one-month or two-month program for young students from kindergarten through fifth grade. You will use your skills and teaching experience to help smart and enthusiastic Chinese kids to learn English. Although you will have access to books and teaching materials provided to you in the camp, you can bring any materials from home that you think would be beneficial for your students.

You will generally have between five and 20 kids in the class, and you will teach for 30 to 45 minutes per session. Most classrooms will be equipped with teaching aids like computers, projectors, and sometimes even display screens. The class will be furnished and have air-conditioning.

You’ll start each day with breakfast and coffee, and then you will go to school at 9:00 am. After preparing your lesson, you will start teaching at 9:30 am. Your classes will last for around 45 minutes, and you will have a 15-minute break in between each class.

The standard workweek for the summer volunteer program in China consists of 30 to 40 hours from Monday to Friday.

Saturday and Sunday – Free time:

Saturdays and Sundays will be your days off. This is the time to travel and explore the surrounding areas. China is a wonderful place to adventure through; it is rich in history and culture, and it is filled with many traditions. Modernizing fast, there are countless ways to see it unfold before your very eyes. Use this time to see the country and be welcomed by friendly faces.

Tips for your summer teaching in China

Using songs: Songs are a great way for young learners to retain the English language. You can bring your own CDs from home or download something on the line when you arrive for your summer volunteer project in China. These kinds of things can easily be accessed on the domestic Internet.

Using Games: Every kid loves fun games! Use alphabet flashcards and colorful games to help kids retain their knowledge. Stick letters to a wall and start fun competitions to see who can touch the proper letter first. Keep encouraging kids to get it right and soon you’ll have a class full of English speakers.

More Games online: You can also use as many free ESL games as you can find online. This piques the interest of the children and keeps them motivated to learn.

A Typical Day for the Summer English Camp

Morning Session

7:00- 8:30 - Wake up at 7:00 and get ready for coffee and a delicious Chinese Breakfast
9:00- 9:30 -Arrive at camp, go over materials, and prep for class.
9:30-10:15 - Start teaching, sharing, and learning 
10:15-10:30 - Take a short break time to prepare for the next class.
10:30-11:15 – Teach English, and share your passion with students
11:15-11:30 - Take a short break time to prepare for the next class.
11:30-12:15 - Teach English to the eager students.

Afternoon session

12:30-14:00 - Lunch Break – eat a delicious lunch, chat with local teachers, students, camp organizers, or rest and relax
14:00:14:30 - Return to the camp, get ready for the next class 
14:30-15:15 - Teaching
15:30-16:15 - Teaching
16:30-17:15 - Teaching
There will be a 15 minutes break in each class
17:30 free time

Skills & Qualification

  • This program is open only to native English speakers (citizens of US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and other English speaking countries with English as a mother language).
  • There are NO teaching or academic qualifications needed to join this summer volunteer opportunity in China. We welcome college/university students who want to be future teachers or are eager to teach young children in China.
  • This is also a wonderful opportunity for retired teachers who want to share their experience and explore the world.
  • For ages between 16 and 60.

Prices and Dates

Currently, we offer a four-week and an eight-week English summer camp in China for $399. Depending on your interests, you are free to choose the program that suits you best.

Date (4 weeks program): July 1 - July 31, 2019

Date (8 weeks program): July 1 - August 30, 2019

Program Fee:

The program provides you with the following benefits:

  • Airport pick-up/drop-off (upon request)
  • Accommodation (hostel or flat, depending on the specific school and venue of teaching)
  • Food (breakfast and dinner at hostel, lunch stipends provided)
  • One day of Shanghai sightseeing program (including entrance fees and permits)  

Program Does Not Cover

  • Visa
  • Airfare
  • Insurance (Insurance is mandatory to join the program. It costs $3.69 per day)
  • Any room/food expenses before and/or after the start of the program
  • Personal expenses, like soft drinks and food


Our English teaching volunteer camps in China are located in Shanghai, and a few nearby cities. Depending on the number of teachers, we may be running camps in other cities, so please expect to be flexible in your location and destination.

Most Frequently Asked Questions:


How do I apply for the program?

Simply fill out the application form to volunteer in the China program.

What happens when I apply?

Your application will immediately be forwarded to our country coordinator in China, who will assess your application thoroughly. They may ask for additional materials such as a résumé or a photo to help the screening process.

Is there a selection process? When do I get a notice of acceptance?

We want to make sure that we have the right candidates for the camp, so your application will go through a screening process. We have some expectations and requirements when it comes to our teachers to ensure that we will provide the best possible education. We may also set up Skype interviews as part of the selection process. You will receive an acceptance letter from our China coordinator within seven days of submitting your application.

When should I apply for this program?

We highly recommend applying at least two months in advance to ensure that you have enough time to get ready for your volunteer experience in China. You should prepare your airfare, visa, and vaccinations among other preparations needed. Because these all require time, apply with as much advance notice as possible.

What is the age limit required for volunteers?

The program is designed for native English speakers between the ages of 16 and 60 years old.

Can I apply if I don’t know any Chinese?

You don’t have to speak Mandarin in order to join the program. We do offer Mandarin language lessons if you want to learn.

Do we get a certificate after the camp? 

If you want to pursue a career as a teacher, then you are more than welcome to have a certificate from this experience. We will send you a certificate for joining the volunteer program in China with the official letterhead of IFRE VOLUNTEERS. When you apply, let us know that you will want a certificate and we will give it to you while you are in China.

What type of visa should I apply?

Given that the summer camp teaching program in China is volunteer-based and not a paid teaching program, you do not need a work visa. You should apply for a tourist visa since you are also going to be traveling around. We do not issue visas, so please get your tourist visa from your home country embassy. If you need a letter of invitation, let us know.

Do I need travel insurance? Who provides health insurance?

In order to stay protected during your international travel, it is important to secure travel insurance. We do not accept anyone into the program unless they carry it. You can buy the insurance of your choice but we do offer insurance in partnership with one of the world’s leading travel insurance providers at $3.69 a day.

If I have to arrive late, do you offer airport picking-up? 

We do offer airport pick-up and drop-off for every volunteer. We will even pick you up if you arrive late into the night. Make sure to send us your flight information so we know when to get you. One of our staff members will be waiting by the exit holding a sign with your name. If for some reason you do not see them, just give us a call. You can find our number in the information e-book that you will receive when you are accepted into the program.

Is program safe? 

IFRE VOLUNTEERS has been running safe volunteer programs in China for years. Without a single incident on record, we ensure that our volunteer programs in China are incredibly safe. We make sure to only run our camps with established schools, equipped with all modern facilities, and to run thorough background checks on the staff. We also have a local coordinator who manages the camps whose job is to stay with you during the entire duration of the camp and make sure that things run smoothly. We also make sure that our hostels and accommodations are very safe.

Is there Internet in China? How do I contact home during the program?

You will have access to all modern forms of communication, especially Skype and WhatsApp. Internet can be found everywhere, so you should be able to contact home whenever you feel like it.

In what kind of room will I stay?

You will be staying in a hostel close to the school. You might either share a room with a fellow volunteer or have a room for yourself. All our rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, hot water 24 hours a day, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, access to phones, and security guards on watch at all times.

What about pocket money? Can we bring dollars?

Although your summer volunteer program in China covers most of your expenses, like room and food, you may still want to bring extra money when you travel on weekends or for any other personal expenses.

What qualifications do I need to apply to the summer volunteer camp in China?

The only qualifications needed to apply for the summer volunteer camp in China are the ability to speak English clearly and the desire to teach kids. You should also have a clean record and be aged 16 through 60.

Do I need to submit any documents?

You should submit a copy of your passport and a recent photo with your résumé.

Is there any screening process? How long does it take to make final decision?

After a screening process, the final decision will be sent no more than seven days after your application for the volunteer opportunity in China. Sometimes we will arrange a Skype interview to help further the decision.

Once accepted, what preparation do I need to do before coming to China?

You should make sure you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity left. You should also purchase a round-trip flight based on your volunteer time, and gather the money needed for personal expenses.

Where I will be flying to?

You will arrive in Shanghai. Depending on the needs of the schools and the number of volunteers, we may be running camps in other cities. Therefore, in some cases, you may need to fly to another airport. No worries, we will let you know in advance.

Who will receive me at the airport?

An IFRE Volunteer staff member will meet you at the airport exit, holding a sign with your name.

Where will I live?

You will be staying in a hostel near your school. Most accommodations will be shared unless otherwise requested.

What kind of food will be served? When?

Breakfast (6:00-8:00 am) and Dinner (6:00 – 7:00 pm) will be offered at the hotel dining area. Lunch stipends will be offered at the school.

Is there Internet (wifi) or how can I get wifi and how much it cost?

Yes, there will be free WiFi at the hotel and work areas.

Where will the summer camp take place?

Shanghai and nearby cities, but it also in other places such as Beijing, Shenzhen, Qingdao, etc.

How many students will be there in the camp?

20-100 students.

How many teachers will be there in camp?

10-30 teachers.

What will the daily schedule look like?

Sample Work Day

Morning Session

6:00- 8:00 Breakfast
9:00-Arrive at School
9:30-10:15 Teaching
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-11:15 Teaching
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:15 Teaching

Afternoon session

12:30-14:00 Lunch Break (outside coffee shop, sightseeing, etc.)
14:00-Back to School
14:30-15:15 Teaching
15:30-16:15 Teaching
16:30-17:15 Teaching
17:30 Free time

  • Monday - Friday camp 5 hours and Free time in between
  • Saturday - Free day  
  • Sunday - Free day

What can I Do in my free time?

Sightseeing, learning Mandarin, exploring China, getting to know the locals, making friends with your fellow volunteers, etc.

Any important points that I need to know

Volunteers teaching in the summer camps in China should be flexible, as this is nothing like teaching in a regular school. The summer camps are intensive and specialize in conversational skills. Teachers should be eager and willing to try different methods to make the most progress with their students. You should love children and be ready to have an experience unlike any other!

Benefits of working in English summer camps

A volunteering abroad opportunity

Our summer volunteer English camps in China are the best opportunity for someone who wants to travel and volunteer but doesn’t want to pay a huge fee.

An opportunity to share your love and passion

Your volunteer program in China is the perfect opportunity to teach young students who are eager to learn English. You can share your love and passion and change the lives of those around you. If you love working with kids, this is the perfect opportunity for you.

An opportunity to establish your career

If you dream of becoming a teacher, especially an English teacher, then the summer camps are perfect practice grounds. We offer a great catapult for beginners. This is also a great way to know whether or not this is what you want to do for your career.

A stepping-stone for future work in China

This is the perfect opportunity to work on your skills. Our English summer camps in China offer you the chance to further your path as a teacher. When your volunteering experience is over, you might even be able to get a permanent job at the school.

A fantastic time to interact with students and Chinese teachers

You will have the chance to meet and interact with Chinese students, their parents, and your fellow teachers when you take on this English summer camp in China volunteer opportunity. These encounters will encourage you to exchange ideas and perspectives. You will learn about the Chinese culture, traditions, and so much more. This is simply a great way to know more about China.

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